Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem during the second century BCE. An eight-day festival of lights and prayer, Hanukkah is marked with candle lighting each night and a traditional food of fried donuts and latkes. It is one of the most popular Jewish holidays and is celebrated by millions of people around the world. As such, it also has strong symbols associated with the celebration that are important to know in order to truly appreciate the holiday and its importance.
The Menorah is a powerful symbol of joy and freedom, and is believed to remind people of the miracle of the oil. It also is a powerful symbol of unity and freedom, as it represents the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, and the freedom to practice Judaism. This symbol is often seen on cards and decorations for the holiday, as well as being worn as a necklace or bracelet.
The dreidel is another important symbol of Hanukkah. A four-sided spinning top, the dreidel has a different Hebrew letter on each side and stands for the saying: “Nun, Gimmel, Hey, and Shin,” which means “A great miracle happened there.” This phrase is a reminder of the great miracle when one day’s supply of oil burned for eight days in the Temple when it was rededicated. The game of dreidel is associated with the holiday as it is often played with candy, chips, or coins for the prize.
The last major symbol of Hanukkah is the holiday food. Popular foods eaten during Hanukkah are potato latkes (or pancakes) and jelly donuts. The latkes are fried in oil to symbolize the miracle of the oil in the Temple, and the jelly donuts are fried in oil to symbolize how plentiful the oil was. Other types of food served during Hanukkah are cheese, fruit, kugel, and other traditional Jewish holiday dishes.
The symbols of the Menorah, Dreidel, and the food of Hanukkah not only serve as reminders of the holiday’s importance and miracle, they also represent the deep history, traditions, and freedom of the Jewish religion. They help to bring family and friends together and to celebrate the holiday in a joyful and meaningful way. Hanukkah is an important holiday that is full of joy, hope, and tradition, and its symbols help to bring these elements together into a meaningful and beautiful holiday experience.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.